PDP leader pays Rs 10 lakh fine for power pilferage at mill

Moazum Mohammad
Srinagar: Former trade union leader Khursheed Alam on Tuesday submitted an affidavit and paid a fine of Rs 10 lakh for power pilferage at his flour mill in central Kashmir’s Budgam district.
Sources told Kashmir Reader that Alam rushed to the office of Power Development Commissioner and requested officials to get the electricity supply restored to ‘Baba Reshi Flour Mills’ in Narbal area.
“He has not cleared the entire fine yet. He paid Rs 10 lakh out of the total Rs 33 lakhs. He has sought some time for paying the rest of money and for that he submitted an affidavit. However, the electricity hasn’t been restored yet,” said a senior official of the department on condition of anonymity.
The office of PDC has charged the mill of electricity pilferage by resorting to “by-passing the meter”. Alam, a former trade union leader, recently joined the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Sources said he has been moving from pillar to post to get the electricity restored to mill.
The case goes back to 2013 when a Junior Engineer along with a Meter Reader of PDD suspected power theft at the mill and reported the case to higher-ups.
“The installation (Baba Reshi Floor Mills) was inspected and the reading of the installation are reducing. I personally visited the site and the gate was not opened by the gatekeeper. It is as such requested that the installation may be checked by higher offices as I suspect that there is bypassing of the meter,” reads the report, a copy of which lies with Kashmir Reader.
On his recommendations, the Chief Engineer EM&RE Kashmir Wing constituted a team of engineers to conduct the inspection. However, the inspection team gave clean chit to the flour Mill and instead the two employees of PDD were suspended. “Installation has 500 KV, 33KV/440V, dedicated substation. H.T meter installed on 33KV side, checked and found OK,” read the inspection report of the team constituted by Chief Engineer.
However, a follow-up by PDC in its finding vide order DC/PD/TO-I/111/20-24 dated 2-5-2014 stated that the three phases of the Mill were bypassed. It stated that three bush rods of CT/PT unit were without any conductor connection.
“A worker Mohammad Abdullah Razvi was found opening a 33KV link. He was using a platform, a ladder and a link rod. One voltage phase of meter was reading zero because of opening of one link piece. Currents in meter were reading zero because CT/PT unit was bypassed,” read the findings of the report.
In 2006, the PDD in its communiqué designated Assistant Engineer as the nodal officer for taking meter reading for sanctioned load above 100 HP/KVA upto 500 HP/KVA. The ‘Baba Reshi Flour Mills’ has a sanctioned load of 245.88 HP/KVA. It provides an insight that the ‘set procedure wasn’t followed in the case’.
“The installation was disconnected by the inspection team and jumpers at the tapping point were removed. The installation was earlier also inspected and it was instructed to remove the link set vide this office communication number DC/PD/TP-I/111/5392-96 dated 24-09-2012. However, two link sets in violation to this office guideline were found at the installation, one at substation of installation before CT/PT unit and other at tapping point of the installation.”
The PDC has sought action against the flourmill and instructed the consumer to install 10/5 A ratio 33KV CT/PT unit with check meter at his cost outside premises of installation accessible to the inspection team without any assistance of the consumer. “Please recover the charges on account of loss to the department at twice the assessment as per formula given in JK State Electricity Regulatory Commission Supply Code Regulation 2011 for the entire period of CT/PT bypass. If the period is not known then the charges be worked out for one year as per guideline,” it said.
The Department has sought disconnection of power service to the unit unless the recoveries were sought from the consumer. “The installation shall not be reconnected unless all recoveries are made, check meter is installed by the consumer duly tested and sealed by the inter-wing and sealing team and link sets removed from the installation.”
Commenting upon the issue, Chief Engineer EM&RE wing Kashmir, B A Khan stated that the contradictions in the reports were mainly due to “time gap”. “There is a time gap in the inspections of EM&RE wing and PDC. The inspection findings of PDC are fresh one as we conducted the inquiry six-months ago. That time we couldn’t find anything illegal there,” he said.
Asked about the suspension of the employees, he said that they didn’t report to the police if they suspected and were liable for action for their irresponsible attitude. “We have also issued showcase notice to the concerned Assistant Engineer in the matter and inquiry is on,” Khan added.